A shocking new study has revealed that up to 43 percent of salmon labeled as “wild,” actually comes from salmon farms.
The study, conducted by Kimberly Warner, Ph.D., tested 82 salmon samples collected from restaurants and food stores in the 2013-14 winter.The research showed that salmon labelled as “wild” was actually farmed Atlantic salmon, and some other samples showed that lower-value varieties were being sold as much higher-value species, and for an increased price.
This is a blow for every person who tries to shop with an eco-friendly mindset, thinking they are buying organic when they are infact supporting salmon farms without their knowledge.
Even worse for health-conscious shoppers, as the farmed salmon was found to have twice the calories and fat of wild salmon and a higher percentage of saturated fat. Farmed salmon may contain more chemicals and preservatives, it is thought that often pink food coloring is added to give the salmon it’s bright color, and scarier still, the fish may have been fed with GMO fish food.
If you’re wondering how these companies get away with it, the U.S. exports around 70% of it’s salmon, much of it to China, due to processing costs being cheaper out of the country. When the produce is shipped back in, there is no way to trace the origin of the product, which leads to the mis-labelling.
According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, last year alone imports back into the U.S. accounted for 78% of the 4.7 billion pounds of seafood Americans consumed.
If you are worried about your salmon being an imposter, the best way to avoid this is to buy your salmon in season between May and September.
It was found that in season, only 7% of salmon is mislabeled, whereas the number was much higher in the winter months. And of course, wherever you can, buy organic produce to avoid being disappointed by sub-standard produce.